July 28, 2014


Spy Vibe Comics Week: ARCHIE. Spend the week in our secret lair as we share images and stories from the Spy Vibe collection and research. Today we present a 1967 spy issue of Life With ArchieDetails below. Related posts: Cold War Archie. Spy Vibe's archive of vintage photos of people reading comics here.

Spy Vibe is extending Comics Week! During the excitement of Comic-Con over the weekend, I was on a mission to hunt for pop-culture artifacts at my local comic shops. One of the most surprising finds was an original Smash Comics issue with Bozo the Robot from the 1940s (see our post about Robot comics here). I also uncovered a 1967 Archie story inspired by the Spy Boom of the mid-1960s. Made during the single season of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Life With Archie #57 featured a story called Flight of the Fiend starring B.E.T.T.Y. as "The Girl From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.". The plot revolved around The Birdman, enemy agent for C.R.U.S.H., who took control of Betty via a transistorized thought-control device (hidden inside a tiny bird!). The comic included many fun spy conventions, like a charm bracelet that shot sleeping gas and white Go Go boots that could open electronic locks. Despite the dynamic cover showing Archie as a secret agent wielding a gadget-pen, he was only an ancillary character. What was the story about? Under hypnotic control of The Birdman, Betty is sent to infiltrate "Lodge Enterprises" to steal secret plans for the Model-3X jet plane. Adventure ensues as she betrays all of her friends one by one to get the plans. Oh, that Betty! But things are not what they seem and The Birdman faces dire consequences when he delivers the specs for a jet-powered malted milk machine to C.R.U.S.H.. His chief brandishes a gun on the last page, saying, "You big beaked bird-brain, you've had it!" What, no piranha tank? C.R.U.S.H. isn't too inventive when it comes to dealing with failure in their organization. Below are some of my photos of favorite panels from the issue, including a popular ad for a signed David McCallum pin-up. In related news, the current Life With Archie series has just culminated in Archie's death (by handgun!) and his funeral. You can find issues at your local comic store. There is also a popular Afterlife With Archie comic with zombie versions of the characters. And though The Birdman was unique to issue #57, readers may also enjoy our post about Hanna Barbera's Birdman cartoon here. Enjoy!  

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  1. This is a splendid posting, Sir. We all must beware the perfidy of the Birdman!

  2. Personally signed by David McCallum!? What a rip off, bet theyre worth a fortune now.